Asaph Polonsky’s 'One Week and a Day' Wins Jerusalem Film Festival

One Week and a Day
Courtesy of the Jerusalem Film Festival

The drama about parents grieving for their lost son, won the top honor for best Israeli film, while Albert Serra's 'The Death of Louis XIV' took the best international film prize.

One Week and a Day, the debut feature from Israeli director Asaph Polonsky, has won the top prize of best Israeli film at this year's Jerusalem Film Festival, which wrapped up Sunday.

The drama, about parents trying to return to their normal routines after sitting Shiva for their dead son, premiered at the Cannes film festival earlier this year.

In addition to the top honor, One Week and a Day also nabbed the best debut feature and best screenplay awards and took the Fipresci award for best Israeli debut at the festival.

In its decision, the Jerusalem festival jury said the feature had a “constant and impressive command of tone” and that, Polonsky showed “a surprising maturity” for a debut director.
Oscilloscope Laboratories has picked up the feature for U.S. release.

Another Cannes entry, Albert Serra's The Death of Louis the XIV, won the inaugural prize for best international film. The period drama stars Jean-Pierre Leaud as the Sun King struggling with his own mortality in his final days.

The Jerusalem festival has traditionally focused on local titles but this year presented a more cosmopolitan lineup, as well as an international guest list, with such VIPs as Quentin Tarantino, Laurie Anderson and Whit Stillman attending.

Other Jerusalem festival winners included Shiree Nadav-Naor, best actress winner for her role as a troubled teacher in Eran Kolirin’s Beyond the Mountains and Hills; best actor Moris Cohen, who won playing a club bouncer facing a moral dilemma in Meni Yaesh’s Our Father; best cinematography for Yaron Scharf's lensing of Ori Sivan’s Harmonia and best music for Ruth Dolores Weiss for her score of We Had a Forest from director Guy Raz.

Nir Bergman's Saving Neta took the audience favorite award, while the honor for best Israeli documentary went to Dimona Twist by Michal Aviad, the story of seven woman who emigrated from big cities in Poland and Africa to the isolated desert town of Dimona in the 1950s and 60s.